Armond White, the critic bent on throwing around million dollar words in his pursuit to remain a singular contrarian, has published his latest Better-Than list in the National Review. In case you’re unfamiliar with his schtick, White, who maintains moviegoing these days demands “political rigor,” has for the past decade released a pretty reductive and often bizarre list in which he compares the virtues of a variety of movies. And this year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” gets picked on twice because “Its menace is no phantom.” You just can’t make this up.
So what movies were “better than” the Disney blockbuster? According to White, John Boorman‘s “Queen And Country” is, because it succeeds in conveying “the roots of family, citizenship, and morality, all conveyed in cinematic mythology” (it’s a sequel to 1987’s “Hope & Glory“), as well as Justin Kurzel‘s “Macbeth,” because it’s a more potent “metaphor for modern political nihilism.”
Other #hottakes by White include “Sicario” besting “Bridge Of Spies” (“visionary boldness vs. visionary smugness”), “Knock Knock” and “The Green Inferno” triumphing over “Mad Max: Fury Road” (“Eli Roth’s two-fer made him the year’s wittiest political filmmaker”), and “Creed” knocking out “Straight Outta Compton” (the latter “panders to current social cynicism and valorizes hip-hop culture’s most noxious historical episode”).
Take a full read of White’s assessment of the year in film right here.